CRWT Paper 1 Draft

Submitted By kmatt001
Words: 2247
Pages: 9

No need to express an opinion about his conclusions or recapitulate the events, but look carefully at how he argues for Ingram's innocence. I have a strong opinion that Wright is probably correct but at the same time I think his book heavily manipulates the reader's sympathies.

1. The missing interviews. Whose testimony is absent and why?
Julie Ingram was interviewed once in presence of Det. Loreli Thomson for 3 hours
Sandy Ingram chose not to be interviewed; but her diaries were made available
Ericka Ingram chose not to be interviewed
Paul Ross could not be located
When these people are quoted or attributed reactions to, W is going off of interviews held with investigators or statements in court or Ofshe’s recorded interviews. 2. Does he cherry-pick or selectively quote from the indictment? Is the prosecution case fairly presented? Wright does selectively quote from the indictment, and states as much in his last section of the novel entitled, “A Note on Sources and a Few Words About Journalism”. He states that it is the reporter’s duty to “sort out such material”, (meaning the lengthy interviews), and “draw out the pertinent statements” (204). And while he asserts that the reporter’s responsibility is to “present this material fairly”, the writer’s obligation is to “prune away the needless, ungainly verbiage and make the reader’s experience as interesting and pleasurable as possible” (204). Although the reader is free to draw his or her own conclusion from the text, it is obvious that his or her conclusion would based the presented information, which has been severely cut down to what the reporter deems as “necessary and the writer deems as “interesting”. It’s safe to say that both the reporter and the writer in this instance share the same agenda – to persuade the reader of the absolute ludicrousness of the Ingram Case, especially in relation to the behavior and decisions of the detectives involved and the prosecution. It would therefore be to the advantage of the writer to cherry-pick quotes from the indictment that serve his specific purpose. When Paul first meets with Sherriff Gary Edwards and Undersheriff Neil McClanahan regarding his daughters’ accusations, Wright neglects to include any direct quotations from the two interviewing officers, besides Edward’s uninformative opening statement of “Paul, there’s a problem” (6). Already, the opening conversation that preceded this first, all-important interview is lacking key quotations from the arresting officers, which may have offered the reader some insight into the perspective of the department itself. In this same paragraph, Wright adds small snippets of direct quotations from Paul that are generally preceded by Wright’s own words; he then ends the paragraph with several of his own conjectures regarding Paul’s statements. For example, Wright quotes Paul in the following manner: “If he did molest the girls, then ‘there must be a dark side of me that I don’t know about.’ These reponses were disturbingly equivocal…” (7). The reader is not presented with Paul’s entire quotation, only the last part of it; this is clearly what the writer deemed the most provocative portion of whatever Paul did say. Wright’s equally as intriguing follow-up statement about Paul’s “disturbingly” equivocal nature serves to fill in any missing blanks the reader might be sensing with further sensationalism. During the actual interview, Wright makes sure that his reader views the detectives and the prosecution’s methods in a certain light. Wright notes that the detectives questioned Paul for “several hours” before turning on a tape recorder to take Paul’s official statement(6). During those several hours, Paul’s testimony shifted from ambivalent to absolute – Wright notes that Paul’s official statement is now one of total acceptance. Wright does not include what Edwards and McClanahan said during those omitted hours, even though he states later on in the novel that “the investigators…